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  #1  
Old 10-07-2005, 07:48 PM
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Removing one piece fiberglass bathtub enclosure

My wife is visiting her Mother for a couple weeks, and I thought I could use the time she is gone to fix up the master bathroom. I don't need to use that bathroom, so I have decided now is a great time to rip it apart and remodel.
The biggest problem is how to remove a fiberglass bathtub/shower stall. The whole assembly is big, it is 6 feet long, from wall to wall, it is as wide as a standard bathtub, and has fiberglass walls on three sides. How to you get these things out??? I imagine once I remove the water controls and drain I should be able to pry it out.
It is from a 1976/77 era house, it seems like a common fixture, I have seen them in other peoples homes.
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2005, 07:57 PM
Greg 79 f150 Greg 79 f150 is offline
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Fiberglas shower/tub combo units have a install lip built in on them. This lip is to be able to anchor/screw the tub to the wall. This lip will need to be exposed by cutting the drywall back away from it. ( yep, patch paint time) , if not, you will crack the tub trying to wrestle it out of the opening. The lip extends about 1 and 3/4 inches around the edge of the tub all the way around it. good luck
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Old 10-07-2005, 08:43 PM
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i'm assuming, usually a mistake, that you aren't reusing it. greg 79 is right, but i'll add that the surround is probably glued to the sheetrock. it's gonna be a pain in the butt. heat gun it to make it easier if you want to save the walls. if not rip & tear & replace the rock w/ fire code rock. green board in some places. btw, when you get done in your bath, c'mon over & help w/ mine.
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Old 10-07-2005, 09:41 PM
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Sawzall and some major drywall damage.

There is no simple way to do it really, expecially if it is a true one piece (newer ones look like one piece but most are 2-3 parts).

I do about 6 bathrooms a year and it seems like cutting it out is the only way to get it out of the house.
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Old 10-07-2005, 11:08 PM
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Yep. One piece tubs won't fit through a standard bathroom door. They have to knock Studs out to get 'em in before the place is sheetrocked. SAWZALL..... just cut it into pieces that will fit thru the door, and don't cut too deep. Cut pipes or wires are a REAL bummer...Have fun!
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Old 10-08-2005, 06:19 AM
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It is a one piece, I can't find a seam anywhere.
I'm not crazy...I had a good idea this was going to be a major project.
The bathroom is also upstairs and it is going to be tough to get a new bathtub in there. I sure hope I don't have to rip any doors, walls/studs apart to install a new one. I'll see about a new bathtub today, and fiqure out if the project is worth all the trouble. Thx for the replies.
Edit..
I just took a good look at the enclosure, there is an access panel in the hallway closet, I can see behind the unit, it was laid into the bare framing and it may be screwed or nailed into the studs at the top off the unit. There is regular drywall butted up to the edge of the fiberglass, I'm betting that there is a flange around the edge that goes behind the drywall. I think I'll be able to loosen it up if I Remove the 3 sections of drywall above the enclosure, and cut/remove the fasteners.
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Last edited by 924x2150; 10-08-2005 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 10-08-2005, 06:59 AM
Greg 79 f150 Greg 79 f150 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 924x2150
It is a one piece, I can't find a seam anywhere.
I'm not crazy...I had a good idea this was going to be a major project.
The bathroom is also upstairs and it is going to be tough to get a new bathtub in there. I sure hope I don't have to rip any doors, walls/studs apart to install a new one. I'll see about a new bathtub today, and fiqure out if the project is worth all the trouble. Thx for the replies.
Edit..
I just took a good look at the enclosure, there is an access panel in the hallway closet, I can see behind the unit, it was laid into the bare framing and it may be screwed or nailed into the studs at the top off the unit. There is regular drywall butted up to the edge of the fiberglass, I'm betting that there is a flange around the edge that goes behind the drywall. I think I'll be able to loosen it up if I Remove the 3 sections of drywall above the enclosure, and cut/remove the fasteners.

If the drywall was butted up to the edge of the holding flange on the tub, take note of that as another enclosure being installed wrong. The stud to stud rough opening on a standard tub should be 60 inches. Many carpenters make the rough opening 61 inches, which is wrong. The drywall needs to go over the flanges to assure the water stays on the surface, and doesnt run behind the tub flange.
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Old 10-08-2005, 09:29 AM
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Thx Greg79.,..I measured the RO behind the unit, it is about 60 and 1/2 inches. I do believe the dry wall is over the flange, and butted against the top of the visible part of the unit. I think I saw a nail leading from the flange into the stud on one corner.
I ripped the bathroom apart, nothing left except the light, wallpaper and the shower/bathtub stall. I am going to chop the unit up, I have a 24 inch bathroom door to get thru. The tub can go out sideways, it is only 19 inches high, the walls will come out once they get sawzalled.
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Old 10-08-2005, 09:49 AM
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Those 1 piece units are a bear, more than likely installed during the framing process when it was easy. Do yourself a favor and check out the two and three piece units to put in, (3 piece are nice if you're working by yourself.)

Be a good time to think about a tile enclosure - if you have the time and cash, (wives hate the open stud bathroom look.)

Last edited by Howdy; 10-08-2005 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 10-08-2005, 10:21 AM
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A lot of tub openings were framed @ 60-1/2 inches for the old cast iron tubs, so you might have to fir out one end wall 1/2 for the new unit. If the tub is on an outside wall, be sure you insulate first. Are we having fun yet?
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Old 10-08-2005, 12:35 PM
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I've also a one piece garbage shower / tub that I'd like to replace soon. Only thing is.. there isn't going to be tub going back in... shower only. The only time I've ever liked a tub was to soak my aches away, rather that wash the dirt from the top, to settle on the bottom. My main bathroom is also upstairs in our condo and the guy who made the place, took the cheapest routes possible, believe me! My old tub/shower will have to come out in at least 6 pieces, if not more. I can't even imagine trying to wrestle a new tub of any size up there.

Thanks for all the warnings ... guess I'll wait until next summer, then decide to redo the floors downstairs instead!!
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Old 10-08-2005, 01:00 PM
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Yeah, I didn't want to mess with your good intentions, but that really is a job that needs to be done by someone who does this stuff for a living. Probably would have earned you some major brownie points with the wife, though,huh. Coulda been a bummer if she came home to a big mess. Speaking of big messes, have you ever refinished a floor?
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Old 10-08-2005, 02:17 PM
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I have done quite a few jobs, i.e. install toilets, sinks, all kinds of plumbing, I've laid ceramic, plastic tiles,spackled, wallpapered and painted, rebuilt my Moms bathroom floor, but I never installed a shower or bath.

Experience is great..saves you the hassles, IF, you are a contractor.This isn't rocket science, it is remodeling.

I won't use contractors, they never spend the time and effort to do the job right. I always put TLC into my jobs and keep the quality high. I can do anything a contractor can, because I have to, my family and I have been badly ripped-off by contractors before, there are just a few good companies out there, and we didn't find them yet.

I ran to a couple a Bath and kitchen showrooms this morning, I found out something very important, ALL SUPPLIERS TAKE 2 TO 6 WEEKS to ship out their products, no one has anything in stock. I'll deal with all that, and get er done. If the wife comes home to an empty bathroom, too bad, we will just have to share one bath. I guess I am fortunate.

I jumped on this project because my wife is gone and I do work slow. She'll still be happy to be getting a new bathroom, I might even get her a whirlpool tub.
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Old 10-08-2005, 03:34 PM
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I think he was talking to Dick. You've got a couple weeks, which should be plenty of time - if you can find a tub. 3 piece enclosures are common, unless you're going really fancy. Make some calls, there should be someone with a set around there.
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Old 10-08-2005, 04:15 PM
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Yupper .. this cheapo condo I live in left a lot to be desired when we first bought it. It had FILTHY CARPETING that even after a couple of shampoos, was still Ugly. So.... in all my age and experience..( lol )... I decided one day to start ripping up carpeting and install the tile that I'd been buying. Well..I got under the carpeting and found the CHEAPEST subflooring that a contractor could find to lay a pad and carpet on. Did I mention that you could hear me yelling a block away?? If that contractor was still in town, I imagine his ears were ringing...even though he probably didn't care a zit!

Well, I didn't have the money at the time, to buy the good subflooring that I really had hoped to find, so I cleaned everything up as best as possible, spackled a couple spots..couple...right... and after it dried, laid the tile down. All in all it doesn't look too bad after being there for 3 years now, but it isn't holding down as well as I'd like, in places. So....my next plan is to install that instant flooring..the wood look. I have't picked out what I want to start saving for, yet..but have my eye on several brands. A good friend built his own house and I helped a lot during the construction. He laid down a Pergo woodlook floor and it really looks nice and is holding up quite well. But Pergo is spendy and this little dump isn't worth too much spendy, even though it has nearly doubled in value since we bought it.

As for have I done it before? Nah. But I've found, over the years, that I can do just about anything I want to do if I set my mind to it. There are, of course, some things I prefer not to do and will contract them out....like plumbing jobs. I, for some reason, just hate plumbing..even though it isn't all that complicated.

I'll probably have someone come in and do the shower for me... but I think I can destroy what's up there, well enough on my own, to get it out. And then I can put up new wallboard where the remainder of the shower was and install some shelving or new cupboards for towels, supplies, etc.

The carpeted stairs ... I plan on re-doing them in wood..stained and nicely polyurethaned. You should see the holes under the carpeting there! Oh well.. that's another story entirely.

I'd like to eventually sell this place and get out of town, but before that's possible, she needs a bunch of TLC.
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Old 10-08-2005, 04:15 PM
 
 
 
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